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(This whole page is a poor attempt of translation of the Illustrated Handbook for Medicinal Materials from Nature in Yunnan, mistakes are and will be made, sorry)

Sansejin - Viola tricolor L.

Chinese name

三色堇 sān sè jǐn

Other names

Latin name

Viola tricolor L.



Description from Flora of China

Viola tricolor var. hortensis Candolle.

Herbs annual, biennial, or perennial, 10-40 cm tall. Stems erect or slightly oblique, slightly robust, angled, simple or numerously branched. Basal leaf blade narrowly ovate or lanceolate, long petiolate; stipules large, leaflike, deeply pinnatifid, 1-4 cm; petioles of upper leaves longer, those of lower leaves shorter; cauline leaf blade ovate, oblong-orbicular, or oblong-lanceolate, base rounded, margin remotely crenate, apex rounded or obtuse. Flowers solitary in leaf axils, usually 3-colored (purple, white, and yellow), large, 3.5-6 cm in diam., with 3-10 flowers per stem; pedicels slightly robust, 2-bracteolate at upper part; bracteoles opposite, ovate-triangular, very small. Sepals green, oblong-lanceolate, 1.2-2.2 cm × 3-5 mm, margin narrowly membranous, apex acute, basal auricles developed, 3-6 mm, margin irregular. Corolla flat; upper petals deep purple-violet, lateral petals and anterior one 3-colored, purple-striate, lateral ones inside densely barbate at base; spur of anterior petal smaller, 5-8 mm. Ovary glabrous; styles short, base conspicuously geniculate; stigmas enlarged, globose, with a large stigma hole in front. Capsule ellipsoid, 8-12 mm, glabrous. Fl. Apr-Jul, fr. May-Aug. 2n = 26.

Widely cultivated in China [native to Europe].


Used parts



Medicinal use